The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday recorded statements of state Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee at its office in CGO complex here in connection to the Narada sting operation probe. ED sources said that Mukherjee admitted taking money from Narada News CEO Mathew Samuel as “donation” and not as bribe.
Sources said that Mukherjee was asked who had introduced him to Samuel and that why he took money from him. He responded to the queries of the ED officers confidently and gave clear statements, they added. “I appeared on the same day when ED officials had called me. I was questioned for about three-and-a-half hours. They wanted to know some details of the case that they are probing. I have told them if they want to know anything more, I am ready to come again. They (ED officers) knew that the amount of donation was Rs 4 lakh which is not correct and I told them that it was Rs 3.5 lakh,” Mukherjee told reporters outside the ED office.
Before Mukherjee, Trinamool ministers Firhad Hakim and Sovan Chatterjee were also interrogated by the ED officials in connection to the Narada sting probe. Sovan Chatterjee denied taking any money from Samuel.
Sources said that ED is likely to interrogate state Transport Minister Subhendu Adhikari soon.
These ministers are among the 12 Trinamool leaders who were purportedly seen accepting money from Samuel who pretended to be the representative of a fictitious company.
Narada tapes were released just before the Assembly elections in 2016. On the Calcutta High Court’s directive, CBI initiated a probe and later registered an FIR. ED too began its investigation to probe the money trail in the case.